Trail earns Canadian Award for Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association. Photo: Jim Bailey

Trail earns Canadian Award for Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association. Photo: Jim Bailey

City of Trail pockets fourth financial reporting award

A comprehensive audit of the City’s finances and an opportunity to tell Trail’s annual story

For the fourth year and counting the City of Trail has been recognized for its stellar financial reporting, and is already working on number five.

The city received the Canadian Award for Financial Reporting (CAnFR) by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its 2019 Annual Report.

“The annual report is one of the city’s most important documents,” said Rino Merlo, City of Trail’s Deputy Director of Finance. “It includes a comprehensive collection of the city’s audited financial statements while also giving the city an opportunity to tell Trail’s annual story in a creative and engaging manner.”

The 2019 award winning report has a catchy and apt title. “From the Ground Up” focuses on the city’s major infrastructure undertakings and represents Trail’s commitment to fiscal sustainability, upgrades and maintenance, community health and safety, staff succession plans, and land redevelopment opportunities.

For example, the Iris Crescent renewal project completely rebuilt the 60-year-old sub-surface infrastructure that included removal and replacement of all sewer and water mains and reconstruction of curbing and the main road.

The highlight for the city though was its reconstruction of the Water Treatment Plant. Most of the cost of the more than $1.1 M three-year project was covered by the BC Clean Water and Wastewater Fund. The project provided a new drinking water UV disinfection system, which is highly efficient and eliminates waterborne pathogens.

The report also includes messages from Chief Administrative Officer David Perehudoff and Mayor Lisa Pasin, and outlines the strategic priorities, complete with staff profiles and comprehensive analysis of capital projects.

The number of projects started, completed, and in progress in 2019 is impressive and compiled in a list with strategies and updates on progress and future measures.

For those drawn to accounting, a thorough financial analysis of the city’s budget, revenue streams, assets and liabilities are also available in an aesthetically pleasing and easy to read format.

In 2016, the city began use of new software that greatly enhanced its presentation of the report and kick-started the consecutive award cycle.

The inaugural report was titled “Pathway to the Future,” in reference to the Columbia River Skywalk. The following year the report was named “We’re on our way” a nod to the new airport terminal at Trail Regional Airport. Then in 2018, the Trail Sk8Park graced the cover with the title, “Shaping our community.”

“The City’s Communications and Events Coordinator and I work with a graphic designer who brings this artistic vision to fruition,” said Merlo. “It’s a great team effort and we are very proud of the outcome.”

The report was judged by impartial Canadian Review Committee members and must meet the high standards of the program, including demonstrating a constructive spirit of full disclosure designed to clearly communicate the municipality’s financial story and to motivate potential user groups to read the report.

“We are now working on the 2020 report,” said Merlo. “Once it has been inspected by the public and approved by Council, it will be submitted for consideration for the 2020 CAnFR.”

The 2019 Annual Report can be viewed at trail.ca/Reports.

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